Nev Wilshire, star of BBC Three docusoap The Call Centre, has jumped to the defence of cold calling consumers by claiming his company’s main purpose is to give customers “something for nothing”.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, ahead of a Christmas special of the show, Wilshire refused to give out advice to people wanting to avoid cold-calling, and maintained that his firms were offering a public service.
His remarks follow a report in the Mirror that one pensioner wasted hours on the phone and was given the runaround for more than 10 months, only to be told she was not actually entitled to a free boiler the call centre agent had promised in the first place.
The 80-year-old was cold-called by a rep from Save Britain Money earlier this year and told that she was eligible for a new boiler. Then she had to provide proof of her pension and ownership of the house, more than once, after the documents apparently got lost or were unreadable. “I had to spend hours on the phone to my mortgage company and pension office to get the proof again,” she told the Mirror.
Then a second company, Nationwide Energy Services – also run by Wilshire – also got involved. It sent a different rep, who also wanted proof that Ivy owned the house. This time she had to provide solicitors’ letters and paperwork going back to the day it was built.
After all this, Ivy was told that she wasn’t entitled to a new boiler after all unless her whole house was re-piped.
In June, Nationwide Energy Services was fined £125,000 for failing to check whether the people it cold-called were registered with the Telephone Preference Service. A second company run by ‘Big Nev’, We Claim You Gain, was fined £100,000.
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